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    A-10s Were Saved from Retirement for Years. Congress May Not Swoop to the Rescue This Time.

    A-10s Were Saved from Retirement for Years. Congress May Not Swoop to the Rescue This Time.

    Lawmakers are open this year to letting the Air retire more A-10 Warthogs under a draft defense policy bill, a sign that past fights to keep the aging aircraft in the fleet may be starting to lose steam.

    A draft of the House's version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act policy bill — which is being finalized this week — would allow the service to reduce the number of A-10s to 218, shrinking the fleet by more than 40 aircraft from last year's number of 260.

    The close-support aircraft with a more than 57-foot wingspan has been flown by the military since the 1970s. The signature “brrrttt” noise echoing from its 30-mm Gatling-style guns, which protected troops in Iraq and as well as the first Gulf War, helped build a passionate fan among service members and Washington lawmakers, who have fervently protected it from retirement.

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    For decades, the Air Force's efforts to send its A-10s to the boneyard have been stymied by Congress. Last year, however, in the 2023 , Congress finally allowed 21 of the planes to be retired, which marked the first retirements of that aircraft in the 21st century.

    Notably, the 2024 draft NDAA would double that number of retirements to 42 aircraft.

    The provision about A-10s in the gigantic defense bill must still be approved and possibly amended by the…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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